A Dublin man has today brought a legal challenged aimed at preventing him being tried for a third time on charges of kidnapping a family and stealing €2.28m.
Niall Byrne (aged 30) is alleged to have been a member of a gang that held Securicor employee Paul Richardson and his family hostage as part of a raid in March 2005.
He was tried before Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on two occasions. Following lengthy deliberations neither of the juries could agree on a verdict.
Mr Byrne, who claims he evidence against him is highly circumstantial, has at all times denied the charges of false imprisonment and robbery.
In his High Court proceedings against the DPP and the Judges of Dublin Circuit Court Mr Byrne, a courier with an address at Crumlin Road Flats, Crumlin, Dublin 12 claims the decision to try him for a third time on the same charges is "unjustly oppressive".
He is seeking an order prohibiting the judges of the Dublin Circuit Court from hearing his proposed trial.
He is also seeking an injunction restraining the DPP from prosecuting him.
In an affidavit to the court he said both his and his family's health have suffered since he was first charged with the offences in 2006.
He has been on bail since 2006, the conditions of which he said are "severely restrictive". His ability to earn a livelihood has also been adversely effected, as the criminal process has "wholly absorbed" his life for the last number of years.
Moving the application today Fergal Kavanagh SC for Mr Byrne said his client's trial lasted 65 days in 2009.
It was one of the longest running trials to complete and evidence was taken from hundreds of witnesses. A number of co-accused were convicted of the charges.
Mr Byrne's second trial, he added, lasted for 25 days in late 2011. On both occasions the juries could not agree on a verdict following lengthy deliberations, counsel added.
A new trial date has been set for October of this year, however to try his client for a third time on the same charge would be, counsel continued, "manifestly unfair".
To permit a third trial, counsel added, would be an abuse of the judicial process and a breach of his client's constitutional rights.
Permission to bring the challenge was granted by Mr Justice Michael Peart.